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Wrongfully Convicted Individual Wins Writ of Actual Innocence

Representing the Innocence Network, Paul, Weiss filed an amicus brief that helped win a writ of actual innocence for Clarence Jones in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Mr. Jones was wrongfully convicted in 1999 of second-degree murder and child abuse of his infant son based on expert testimony invoking the Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) hypothesis. The SBS hypothesis—which has served as the basis for thousands of convictions—posits that anytime an infant presents with a triad of medical findings, the infant has suffered intentional shaking or abuse. Paul, Weiss’s amicus brief, filed on January 22, highlighted recent developments in the scientific and medical community demonstrating that the triad of medical findings attributed to SBS have causes that are completely unrelated to shaking or intentional injury. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that “[e]vidence that changes the 1999 understanding of those medical conditions in relation to the injuries and conditions associated with SBS qualifies as newly discovered,” and that “if a factfinder, be it jury or judge, would hear the competing professional medical opinions, there is a substantial or significant possibility of a different result.”

The Paul, Weiss team included litigation partner Jennifer H. Wu and associates Kate Wald, Adam Savitt and Vincent Honrubia.

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